Târgoviște: where Dracula was born
January 1, 1970
I was born here. A small town in an East-European country, called Romania( the fourth latin state along with Italy, France and Spain, having a Roman descent). Short history lesson: in 105-106 a.C, the original romanian people, the Daco- Getae, was conquered by Romans and they started being influenced. Across the years, the two people created the perfect mix, sharing culture, religion, administration, economy and families, of course. That is whay I had to learn and understand a very complex language, hard to pronounce and very interpretable. If you have some romanian friends, maybe they have taught you already romanian words with more than one meaning just to make fun on you. Yeah, welcome to Romania and..to Targoviste!
Little medieval town, Târgoviște is the place where history is home. The arhitecture, the shape, the size, the stories books, tell you that some amazing facts took place here, transforming the city in one of the favourite targets of documentaries directors with its 33 kings. Every proud citizen from Târgoviște knows all of the kings and,especially one one of them – big bad guy, called Dracula. You’ve heard about Dracula from Transilvania, right? Well, the true is that he never lived there -actually, he was just visiting one of his lovers there from
time to time. His real name was Vlad the Impalor because he…was impailing people for theft, lie, deception or betrayal – he simply didn’t like to see in his people this kind of things. There are a lot of bloody stories that highlight him as a cruel man like: he made a wood out of impaled people on stakes just to scare the enemy who was coming; or he killed over 100 boyars in his Chindia Castle, in Targoviste at just one feast because they weren’t faithful…well,the stories are true! Completly true and historicaly recorded. That’s the way his name appeared!
But beyond the scary scenes, the town, Târgoviște, has its charm: is like an old beautiful lady, smelling like linden flowers and roses. You can actually meet “her” by coming with the train or bus – is 70 km away from Bucharest, the capital. ( 1-2 hours). Here, you can take a taxi or the bus ( both are pretty cheap) to one of the beautiful hotels. I highly recommend Dambovita Hotel, which is settled in the town Center, with the view to Mitropolian Park and Mitropolian Church, and it has a very good restaurant where you can try traditional romanian food.
Talking about restaurants, pubs and food, I love going to Alexo, the place where you can find the best pizza in town (my opinion). Also, there is an Irish Celtic Pub (nearby the hotel), Toscany restaurant, Tower’s Pub and a whole
“old center”, as we call it, full with good places where you can enjoy a summer night in a bohemian style and smiling people.
We like to say that our happiness is because of the food: the romanian couisine is one of the best in the world – one of a kind and I guarantee you will love it! You can ask for “mămăligă”, ”mici”,”sarmale”, ”ciorbă” (which is a thicker teastier soup) in different combinations and a lot more that you will find in the restaurants menus, translated in English.
As I said before ”targovistenii” (the people living in Targoviste) are some smiley faces on the map: they are very open to new, kind and humoristic – funny and fun lovers! They are really willing to guide you for free in the town and to tell stories and jokes with you all day, unless you drive them mad by saying (careful) : 1. the gypsies are romanians and 2. that Romanian sounds like Russian ( we have a really bad history with Russia). It would be better not to say that to them.
So, returnig back to the town tour, you can visit in Târgoviște the Chindia Castle with its ruins and church, the Dealu Monastery, the communism
museum ( the place where the communist leader, Ceaușescu, and his wife were shot in 1989 during the revolution, the History, Arts and Police Museums, the Viforâta Monastery and we can go on.
For more fun, here is a tennis area, public swimming pools, a karaoke area and an intense night life: dancing clubs, game rooms ( bowling, table tennis, billiard, bet houses etc) and concerts in the pubs where you can find both international and traditional drinks.
I think that the beauty of the Târgoviște is in this contrast: it has two faces that are the other perfect half for each other. During the day, Targoviste is a really decent city with its streets, libraries, limonade, open supermarkets and blossomed trees, but at night, it changes into something younger, more powerful, full of life, music, colours and friends.
If you enjoyed reading this article and it made you curious, I invite you dearly to come here and experience the perfect combination of silent and noise, nature and humans…history and present! And you can find all that here, in Târgoviște!